Thinking allowed

Are individual cups legal for communion?

Since March, the Church of Eng­land guid­ance issued by the bish­ops has stip­u­lated that com­mu­nion should be received “in one kind” only, and that the chalice, the com­mon cup, should be with­held from all except the priest tak­ing the ser­vice. This has been backed by leg­al advice that a single cup must be used, and if it is impossible to share a com­mon cup, then the cup should be withheld.

Now a group of bar­ris­ters has chal­lenged this leg­al advice that it is unlaw­ful to use sep­ar­ate indi­vidu­al cups, issu­ing a con­trary leg­al opin­ion that the over­rid­ing pri­or­ity is that com­mu­nion should be admin­istered in both kinds, and that this should allow indi­vidu­al cups to be used.

The Church Times reports on this story here.


Heraldic Glass at Little Gidding

Little Gid­ding is a place with which I have a long asso­ci­ation. It gave its name to TS Eliot’s last great poem and before that in the early 17th cen­tury Nich­olas Fer­rar and his exten­ded fam­ily lived there in a house­hold of pray­er and work. Eli­ot fam­ously described the tiny church at Little Gid­ding as a place where pray­er has been val­id, and hun­dreds of vis­it­ors and pil­grims come each year to exper­i­ence the beauty and holi­ness of this quiet and peace­ful place. Kar­en and I first vis­ited Little Gid­ding when we moved to the area in 1986 and I’ve been Chair of the Friends of Little Gid­ding for the last dec­ade. Anoth­er of my long-term interests is her­aldry, which first drew my atten­tion as a child at the end of the 1960s, and I have belonged to the Her­aldry Soci­ety since 1974.

These two long-term interests come togeth­er in the win­dows of Little Gid­ding Church, which dis­play the her­aldry of Nich­olas Fer­rar, King Charles I, John Wil­li­ams Bish­op of Lin­coln, and Wil­li­am Hop­kin­son, the 19th cen­tury land­lord who restored the church. In an art­icle on the web­site of the Friends of Little Gid­ding I describe the four win­dows and also invest­ig­ate the coat of arms gran­ted to Nich­olas Ferrar’s fath­er, Nich­olas seni­or, and how this dif­fers from the arms depic­ted in the window.